Dickinson predicts EU will remove island from blacklist
The Minister of Finance said yesterday he expected Bermuda to be removed from the list of uncooperative tax jurisdictions after he completed a round of discussions in Europe.
Curtis Dickinson said the visit included a meeting with the chairwoman of the EU Code of Conduct Group on business taxation, who said she anticipated a recommendation for removal to go to the European economic and financial committee this week.
The Code of Conduct group raised concerns about Bermuda’s Economic Substance Regulations 2018 in January, after the rules became operational but before the EU agreed it was satisfied with them.
Mr Dickinson had a meeting with Lyudmila Petkova, the group’s chairwoman, as well as with the finance ministries of Germany and France.
The summits came after David Burt, the Premier, met Pierre Moscovici, the EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, in Brussels last month.
A Government spokeswoman explained: “These meetings demonstrated the level of co-operation and the economic links between the European Union and Bermuda and reaffirmed that Bermuda should be removed from the EU list of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes at the earliest opportunity.
“The chair of the COCG indicated that she expected the April COCG meeting to make a positive recommendation to the next Economic and Financial Affairs Council.”
A website for the European Council and Council of the European Union showed that the Code of Conduct group was expected to meet on Thursday.
Mr Dickinson said: “This round of meetings strengthens Bermuda’s close and productive relationship with the European Union.
“I have every expectation that Bermuda will be removed from the list of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes at the earliest opportunity and we look forward to continued engaging with the Code of Conduct group in relation to Bermuda’s framework for collective investment funds.
“I want to thank once more, all the stakeholders from industry for their unity and close co-operation during this EU process and encourage them to continue their valuable collaboration as we are approaching Bermuda’s removal from the EU list.”
Mr Burt and Mr Dickinson explained last month that a “minor technical omission” in Bermuda’s economic substance regulations was not spotted and meant the island’s submission to the EU was incomplete.
They said the matter was rectified and an amended version was sent in time for proper consideration by the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council, or Ecofin.
But, around the same time, the list of noncooperative tax jurisdictions was revised and Bermuda, said to have not delivered its commitments on time, was among the ten countries to be added.
Mr Burt said last month that Mr Moscovici had seemed “surprised” that the island was on the list.
The commissioner also signalled that he expected a positive recommendation would be made to the Code of Conduct group.
Ecofin could approve Bermuda’s delisting next month.